Thursday, August 19, 2021

Δelta: Key and Lock Arts

The purpose of a wall is deny access to a location, the purpose of a tunnel is to allow access to a location, the purpose of a door is to do both. Ironically many of the thaumaturges who devote themselves the most to doors must blind themselves to this fact if they want to practice the secret Arts of Key and Lock.

To iterate, a door is meant to be semi-permeable. If it allows everything through or allows nothing through it's not a good door. At the very least they should be easily let people pass, but keep temperature and spirits on one side of the threshold. A door can be more selective in what it allows through with other methods like locks and guards and riddles. A door can be less selective by other methods such as being light enough that the wind can open it. But in any case, it is paramount that it both allows and denies. Doors are not the only domain where such a pattern is observed. Your skin both traps heat within you and sweats it out to keep that you need boil or freeze. Rope is tied in knots that are both sturdy and easy to undo, so that sails are bound or unfurled in response to the winds. Communities accept and reject people based an numberless traits, thereby establishing their identity. Law tells what people can and cannot do, theoretically to support justice. People accept and discard countless things and thereby define who they are. Differentiating things is vital for anything to survive and make sense of the world and have free will, and is the ability that is sacrificed to the Key and the Lock.

Key and Lock Arts are a simple metaphysical exchange. It's a promise that when presented with a specific 'yes' or a 'no' question your answer will always be the same regardless of circumstance, but in exchange the 'yes' or 'no' becomes a 'YES!' or a 'NO!' that the universe is compelled to listen to. A Key adept of doors can enter any building but cannot close the path behind them. A Lock adept of doors can barricade themselves inside any building but trapped inside once they do so. This begs the question of what happens when a Key adept tries to open a door that a Lock adept is keeping closed, for that I'll define a scale to measure magical might by.

Unstoppable Force vs Immovable Object:

Some magics are stronger then others. Some arcane bindings can only hold back ghosts, while other cannot be breached by the gods. Magical forces that can break through barriers also vary from being able to shatter weak barriers to forcing all doors to open before them. Here are some rules for how to rule that.

In a scenario where two magical Forces are pushing against each other. Figure out which rank of power each Force has, the one with the higher rank wins. If they have the same rank, the the defending Force wins, unless the attacking force can find a key (such a dragon's True Name) or an opening (such as a momentary lapse of concentration) in the defending Force. If neither is the clear aggressor, the Forces are stuck in a grapple until something changes (such as one side growing tired and leaving an opening for the other). Finding a key or an opening can be thought of as lowering an opponent's rank down one.

It is known that casting magic is an act of Will, so enchantments are ranked by what is the strongest Will that cannot break from it. Note that offensive and defensive ranks in a given situation do not have to match up. Demons can often be Trivially held back with a simple gesture while being capable of Strong possession. Likewise a human with a good head on their shoulders and a Strong heart is unlikely to be capable of even Trivial possession.
  1. Trivial- Cannot be overcome by the soulless. Fey, figments, egregores, sorcerers who sold away their heart.
  2. Weak- Cannot be overcome by Wills that lose sight of themselves. Ghosts, directionless people, most household items, broken spirits.
  3. Strong- Cannot be overcome by Wills that think they understand themselves. Steady hearts, desperate souls, houses that have lived a hundred years, rivers, wild horses, mere insects.
  4. Great-Cannot be overcome by Wills that know themselves. Saints, Dragons, Oceans.

This ruleset is MOSAIC Strict and arguably unnecessary because you could probably get the same result by just using the everyday definitions of Trivial/Weak/Strong/Great to describe how powerful magics are.

🔑Key Arts:

The Oath Unbarred:
Choose a domain in which things there is an 'open' and 'closed's state, swear an oath to always keep that thing open. If you ever 'close' your domain, lose this template.
  • You can open anything in your domain with Weak power, keeping it magically opened for as long as you keep The Oath Unbarred or the magic is broken. 
  • You can dispel this magic with a thought.

Ritual of Unlocking:
Take something that keeps you safe and secured and sacrifice it to power an Oath Unbarred. If you ever regain this something, lose this template.
  • You can open anything in your domain with Strong power, and do so with barely a glance. 
  • You can dispel this magic with a few minutes of concentration. 
  • Closing in your domain becomes difficult, like pulling out nails with your bare hands or lifting a stone block. 

Forget whatever it was that you sacrificed to get Ritual of Unlocking. You can not lose this template.
  • You can open anything in your domain with Great power. 
  • You cannot dispel this magic.
  • You cannot close anything in your domain, no matter how much you try.

🔒Lock Arts:

The Oath Contained:
Choose a domain in which things there is an 'open' and 'closed's state, swear an oath to always keep that thing closed. If you ever 'open' your domain, lose this template.
  • You can close anything in your domain with Weak power, keeping it magically sealed for as long as you keep The Oath Contained or or the magic is broken. 
  • You can dispel this magic with a thought.

Ritual of Sealing:
Take something that you treasure and make it completely inaccessible, and swear by an Oath Contained. If anyone comes into contact with it, lose this template.
  • You can close anything in your domain with Strong power.  
  • You can dispel this magic with a few minutes concentration.
  • Opening in your domain becomes difficult, like pulling out nails with your bare hands or lifting a stone block.

Forget whatever it was you hide in the Ritual of Sealing. You can not lose this template.
  • You can close anything in your domain with Great power. 
  • You cannot dispel this magic.
  • You can not open anything in your domain, no matter how much you try. 


You can take the same Key or Lock Arts multiple times by taking the Art in different domains. A domain can be practically anything as long as the actions of 'opening' or allowing and 'closing' or denying can be applied to it. However make sure to keep it consistent. When a player takes an oath Unbarred or Contained make sure to come to an agreement with GM on what that oath applies to and write it down somewhere for future reference. Here are a list of possible examples.
  • Doors:This one is fairly straight forward. Key adepts are able to open doors with it, Lock adepts can keep them shut.
  • Specific Doors: The domain can be as narrow as one door. This is actually more common then choosing doors in general, a lot of Lock adepts are dedicated to protecting one vault from intruders. The more secure prisons of the world are enchanted to prevent inmates from using Key Arts against the specific doors that hold them. 
  • Truth: As a Key Art everyone must answer your questions truthfully, but you must answer their questions truthfully as well. As a Lock Art no one can force an answer out of you, but you can't force an answer out of someone either.
  • Skin: As a Key Art allows you to cut with ease, making you able to leave terrible wounds with a dull knife or blade of grass but leaving you vulnerable of the same. As a Lock Art you can make skin impermeable or fuse wounds shut which can be bad if you need to sweat off excessive heat.
  • Dreams: Naturally one's dreamworld has a semipermeable membrane connecting it to the rest of the dreamscape. Removing the membrane allows you to freely shift the dreams of others but leaves you exposed to astral parasites, while closing it off completely defending you from outside influences but leaves you spiritually inert.
  • Contract: Everyone knows what magical contracts are, two sides form an agreement and if one breaks their end then they start coughing up blood and the other side knows about it immediately, this is a classic Lock Art. The related Key Art allows you to break the Contract without the blood or notification. Authoritys hate them, Oathbreakers get axed even more immediately then Orbseekers.
  • Death: You can open yourself to death, this means you will die more easily but making it easier for you to come back as a ghost. You can close yourself to death, not preventing yourself from dying but preventing your soul from leaving the body, this is an important step on the road to lichdom.
  • Wood Joints: In the east there is a tradition of mage wrought carpentry, where structures are kept together by Lock Arts, creating structures that easy to erect but you need to trust the adept to keep it stable. Often the Lock mage in question is killed and buried in the building to ensure it's integrety.
This ruleset is MOSAIC Strict if you include the Unstoppable Force vs Immovable Object rules, otherwise it's MOSIC.


I've been picking at this post for at least half a year, and have been mulling over this concept for around a year, but probably longer. The influences for this subsystem consist of the Knock principle in Cultist Simulator, Arnold K's Door Wizard, my CompSci classes and a character one of my friends back in high school made up. The character was a robot that opened doors but could not conceive of and/or fell into existential dread over the idea of closing them, his name was Doorbot. Also shout out to a special someone who willingly discussed if Key adepts can rip pieces of paper or not.

Actually I started writing this post shortly after the time that the Pyromancy Delta dropped. The clever idea I had at the time was that there would be separate Key and Lock delta trees that would eventually merge into a a Thresholds tree that is a synthesis of the two. To gain the Threshold templates you would also have to lose Key and Lock abilities. Also lower ranks were going to be almost mundane roguish abilities that would eventually give way to more and more supernatural ones. Also I wanted it to follow a 'cops and robbers' theme where both Key and Lock deltas have abilities that make sense on both sides of the law. I didn't get far with this plan because it turned out to much for my tiny brain to handle, so this sat in drafts until it occurred to me to take the "open any door, but you cannot close them" template and just expand that into it's own thing.

I'm happy with how this system turned out. Like always I end up writing an elaborate magic system that has interesting setting implications but don't house it in a specific setting where those implications can be explored. I really need to make a setting and stick with it long enough to get something cool out of it. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Exquisite CΔrpse: Red Knife Heresy

Recently I ran a "Exquisite CΔrpse" on the Phlox GLOGscord. It's like the game of Exquisite Corpse, but instead of drawing we're writing abilities. You can read the rules here. Special thanks to SunderedWorldDM, Locheil, Phlox, Lexi, Spawk, Squigboss, Owlbear Chickenhawk and a Random Wizard for participating. As well as Hawk-Moth for helping with coming up with a name for this thing.

Δelta: Red Knife Heresy

Despite the best efforts of the Church, various heresies, secret societies and mystery cults hide within the cracks of society like weeds. A worryingly large amount of seemingly unrelated sects and stray occultists have converged on similar themes of Blood and flint knives. The madmen who fit under these themes are dubbed Red Knife Heretics and their leaders are the Red Knife Heresiarchs,  who hold strange and twisted powers. They know something about the world that we do not.

The Eye of a Heresiarch sees things about you that you cannot, they look right through you. 
The Foot of a Heresiarch lands eerily, like they are not walking on the same earth as us. 
The Hand of a Heresiarch twitches as if brushing over unseen strings, that it is itching to pluck.

The knife is a tool with many uses, it can kill but it can also be used to prepare bread, whittle a nice smoking pipe, or draw blood. A sharp blade is a versatile tool even in the hands of an ignorant peasant. With the Eye, Foot and Hand of a Heresiarch a Knife can do so much more. It can precisely draw out the power in the pulsing of Blood.

The Blood of a Heresiarch is an undeniable red that stains and binds.

Thus they are called Red Knife Heresiarchs, because the the flint knives they use end up as knives that are red. Their goals an methods may not seem to make sense, but for them the powers they get are just natural consequences of how the world works. They are hunted down and silenced because these bastards tend to cause trouble. 

Each Heretical Power follows the format of a Name in bold and ranked, a requirement in italics which describes how one could gain the Power and description in normal text, which describes what it does. Some Powers have multiple effects. To get a Power you need to have at least 1 Power of a lower rank. This Delta set is MOSAIC Strict.

(0) A Secret: (Gorinich)
  • Have it revealed to you when initiated into a secret society or mystery cult. Piece it together from confounding ancient texts. Or learn it from the lips of an alien being. You know a Secret.
  • Your Secret is precious! That's why you always notice if your your being followed, and feel it when your being watched.
  • Your Secret is ineffable! Discussions about your Secret sounds like gibberish to those unaware, and as the Secret touches everything you can talk on any topic in a way they won't understand. Those who know this Secret will understand you clearly.
  • Your Secret is illuminating! You now recognize new patterns that were there all along! There is a method to the madness! You can hear the angels in the walls the winds the waters, even if you can't make out their words. THEY ARE THERE!
  • Your Secret is simple. You no longer fear the unknown, because you know a Secret.

(1) Freed from Fungus: (SunderedWorldDM)
  • When you manage to find some cure for the fungal infection that plagues you.
  • Plants are instinctively afraid of you, and will do all in their power to avoid you, and if not, submit to your greater will. With enough time, you can destroy any plant by crushing it underfoot.
(1) Pigeon-Wrangler: (Lexi)
  • Spend a week feeding the pigeons (or similar intelligent, flocking pests) in an area. When you move or stop feeding them for more than a day at a time, restart.
  • With a shout and pointing out an appropriately-greasy sacrifice of food, you can summon a cloud of d10*d10 pigeons (or similar flocking pests) to surround the food until it runs out. If you hold the food, they'll protect you. If someone else has the food, the pigeons will attack them until they get it. Deals 1 damage per attack for every 10 pigeons in the cloud, round up.
(2) Freed from Fury: (Loch)
  • When you manage to find some cure for the unreasonable anger which plagues you.
  • Animals are instinctively calmed by you. You may instantly befriend any ordinary beast or creature with bones.
(2) Furious Freedom: (Phlox)
  • When you manage to find people who accept and support your unreasonable anger.
  • You can communicate a minutes-long message in only a few seconds, assuming it is all totally heartfelt and communicated through the medium of shrieks or yells. 
  • With a day of prowling in an urban environment, you can earn the service of 1d4 malcontents until they get too hurt or annoyed.
(2) Gremlin-Child of the City: (Spwack)
  • Never eat anything you haven't found, stolen, scrounged, or made yourself. Stealing scraps is always fine, accepting charity is barely permitted.
  • While you are in a city where you have never purchased food, you always land on your feet whenever you fall, in every sense. No matter if it is a fall from a great height, a sudden betrayal, theft, or the assassination of your companions, you always manage to stick the landing, and hold onto a just a little of what you had.
(3) Finger-Taker: (Squig)
  • Steal and eat the fingers of a human, elf, dwarf, goblin, orc, and dragon. 
  • If you wish, you can touch and grab things without your fingers being felt: if you touch someone's arms, they feel neither pressure nor heat. This makes you very, very good at pickpocketing, stealing random accessories (belts, rings, etc.), and checking someone for weapons.
(3) Eye-Taker: (RandomWizard)
  • Steal and eat the eyes of a child, corpse, dragon, and capital-W Wizard.
  • Nobody can sense or tell you're looking at them unless you wish it. Once per day, you may blind and paralyze someone for as long as you can maintain an unbroken stare at them. Stabbing them in the back repeatedly or stealing something from them does not break the stare.
(3) Eye-Giver: (Owlbear Chickenhawk)
  • Remove an eye from your head and throw it down a well. It will not go to the worms. If someone finds your eye, repeat this process, with your old eye or a new one.
  • If you carve the eye out of a creature and eat it, you can see through its other eye. While you are not looking through it, the eye cannot see. They will be one-eyed and blind forever, except when you are watching with them.
(4) Flint Knife Midwife: (Gorinich)
  • Poke a hole in yourself with a flint knife and feed a pint of your blood to at least 3 targets of your secret powers, they are now your acolytes. The blood does not have to have to be fed all at the same time for it to work. If any of your acolytes literally bites your hand or makes you their acolyte, grow terribly sick and lose this template.
  • Each of your acolytes feels a deep and unshakable affection towards you. They love and trust you with more certainty then they know anything else. Their rational mind can recognize the unusual reason for their affection, but acting on it is instinctively as difficult as chopping off one's hand usually is.
  • You feel a deep and unshakable affection towards your acolytes. If you harm them and don't make an attempt at healing them within a fortnight, your body will naturally feel betrayed and betray you in turn. You will grow sick more easily, fatigue after only moderate exertion and shake when your trying to be still.
(Flint Knife Midwife) Judas of the Flint Knife: (SunderedWorldDM)
  • Kill a dear friend forevermore in the sight of another with your flint knife.
  • You have no attachment to your acolytes whatsoever, and can treat them as expendable freely. However, you only ever get the three, so use them wisely.
(4) Prophet: (Lexi)
  • Obtain a harbinger, a follower who will proclaim your deeds and feats far and wide. The harbinger need not be human, but its appearance is irrevocably associated with your name and reputation.
  • You can see through your harbinger's eyes, and give them visions from your experiences and memories.
(5) Call to Outcasts: (Phlox)
  • Topple a settlement's government within three days of arriving there.
  • When you send a harbinger into a city or town you haven't been to before, you acquire 1d8 acolytes.
(5) The Last Choice: (Spwack)
  • Anoint a blade or other weapon with your blood. If you are struck with it, your soul is obliterated.
  • Whenever you slay something with your weapon, it's soul follows you as well. If you are slain, all the souls following you are released again. Powerful spirits that would be reincarnated, or creatures that wouldn't be killed by such a weapon, are likely to be very irritated with you.
(5) Bloodmonger: (Squig)
  • Taste the blood of a merchant, a lord, a prince, a king, and a demon. 
  • You can smell the blood of living creatures through nearly any barriers from up to a hundred paces away, and you can identify any creature by the taste of their blood.
  • As long as you are consistently being fed blood—through injection or ingestion either—you will not die, no matter the wound.
(5) Blood Diviner: (RandomWizard)
  • Create a pool of your own blood and drown yourself to unconsciousness in it. If the pool is spilled or dispersed, start again.
  • When you spill the blood of another creature, the blood forms into letters only you can read, containing 1d4 dire predictions of the future (5% chance per prediction of being wrong).
  • If you spill a droplet of your own blood onto the ground while reciting the name of a hidden secret, the droplet will flow about a hundred paces along the ground towards the secret. It can move up slopes or even up walls, but can't fly or burrow into the ground. If expected to go into a different dimension, it just goes in a random direction entirely.
(6) Lure of the Knife: (Loch)
  • Make one of your acolytes drink your blood without force or violence.
  • You may now gain new acolytes by arming them with weapons you made yourself.
(7) Eyes of Esotery: (Owlbear Chickenhawk)
  • drink a liter of human blood every day for a month. Each liter must be from a different person. If you miss a day, start again.
  • You may shoot a beam of burning light from your eyes, wherever they may be. Anyone who sees you do this will hear your Secret in the screams of the fallen and the Singing sounds of the beam. Therefore, they must die.

Heresiarchs of Belodin

As a consequence of the fractured nature of this Delta, I think it can lead to characters with very different feels to them that none the less are connected by a common thread, I think that's very intresting. I'll illustrate this by writing about several Heresiarchs who will soon be fighting over the fine city of Belodin.

Duke Vincent Belodin
An older gentlemen from a minor noble house who married into the Belodin family. Despite the scandal surrounding the untimely death of his first wife, he is the respected ruler of the Belodin Duchy. Known among the nobles for being a erudite scholar and once being an avid hunter. Known among the people for being a cruel master who rarely leaves leaves the manor.

Goals: Desires to have it all. Having already acquired temporal power from his marriage into the Belodin family, he seeks to use occult powers to secure it permanently. To that end, he's learning blacksmithing "as a hobby", discreetly sends agents to aquire a dragon's finger and the blood of a king and desperately searches for a way earn more acolytes.

Assets: He is the Duke of Belodin and has all the power that entails. In his manor there is a secret library of occult lore. Has 3 acolytes, Duchess Maria Belodin, the Bishop of Belodin, and his favorite hunting dog Sergie. They respectfully make him the ruler of the land, affirm his moral character and is a good boi. He always carried a flint knife hidden in his coat, and a cloud of ghosts. While the Bishop and Maria do remember being transfixed by Vincent's stares, Sergie is the only living being who is allowed to know, precisely because he's just a hound.

Weaknesses: As a Duke Vincent is paranoid about anyone finding his Secret, meaning he doesn't trust his Spymaster to do all his dirty work, incase they start to suspect him of his Heresy. This means his complicated web of proxies and agents are slow to maneuver, for he only trust his acolytes. He is too afraid of being found out to attain Eye-giver, Prophet or Blood Diviner even thought he knows how.

Powers: A Secret, Freed from Fungus, Freed from Fury, Eye Taker, Flint Knife Midwife, The Last Choice, and Judas of the Flint Knife.

Hooks: Belodin may (indirectly) hire the players to slay a dragon. The players might be investigating the disappearance of around 30 odd people that have gone missing. It's obvious that Belodin killed his first wife, someone needs to do something about this! Grandma Soil
They say there is an one-eyed witch who lives in the sewers of Belodin, from where she lords over the pigeons and the gnats, they say during the day her ghost wanders the streets in search of children and during the night she crawls up to snatch them away and takes their minds with their eyes. This is untrue, Grandman Soil's grandchildren give their eyes by choice. If your on good terms with the Crook Street gang, you can be allowed to meet her and receive a divination.

Goals: Wants to survive and look after her own. This means remaining an urban legend, ignored by the Church. The Duke and We-Will-Make-The-World-Anew are the greatest threats to her because they also know the Secret. If Soil plays her cards right, the two fools with destroy each other.

Assets: Intimate understand of the sewers from years living there, she could disappear in there forever if she had to. Her Harbinger is her daughter Tulip, who is a vagabond and spreads the wild rumors about Grandma Soil. Tulip is a Red Knife Heresiarch in her own right, but according to family tradition will only become an Eye-giver and start taking up Midwifery after Soil passes. Grandma Soil refers to her acolytes as her grandchildren, they consist of a handful one-eyed blind homeless people, and a flock of pigeons, and some poison Ivy, acting as her eyes and ears out in the world. Grandma Soil has an arrangement with the Crook Street gang, where they will look out for her grandchildren, and she preforms divinations and reconnaissance on their behave.

Weaknesses: She's old and near blind. If her cloak of obscurity were to fail, then she'd be easy pickings for her enemies. She's quick to anger when her grandchildren are threatened or someone implies that her love of them is a weakness. There was one time that she abandoned a grandchild, and her ailing body isn't so bad as the guilt.

Powers: A Secret, Pidgeon-Wrangler(for many vermin, not just pigeons), Furious Freedom, Gremlin-Child of the City, Finger-taker, Eye-giver, Flint-Knife Midwife, Prophet, Blood Diviner, Lure of the Knife

Hooks: The players need to find a secret that cannot be uncovered by normal means, and have a lead about a witch that might be able to help. The players have a run in with the Crook Street gang, and kill a one-eyed blind member they have. A pigeon flies over to you with the goal of killing the Duke and promise of a great reward.

This morning a precession has come into the city, guards armed with dragon bone, guarding a palanquin made of dragon bone. From inside the palanquin is a manticore that foretells the arrival of thier's master. Their master who is crowned with crows, their master who tramples the old oaks, their master who's eyes are cold fire, their master who will save this world! If the good people of Belodin submit now then the master promises them justice and freedom, otherwise they will know their master's power firsthand.

Goals: Dreams of fixing the world. We-Will-Make-The-World-Anew sees that the power of the Red Knife could be used to mend the bridges between people and nations. If only the leaders in each polity had the population as their acolytes, then they would not mistreat them. If the leaders of each polity were acolytes of each other, then they would not mistreat each other. Of course this would be a bureaucratic nightmare to organize, that's why We need to take the reigns of the world first.

Assets: They have their inner circle of disciples from before they became a Prophet. Thier right-hand orc, Thraw the Wizard who gave World-Anew her eye and finger and wields a dragon-spine staff, the gobbish alchemist Flitch who gave his step-brother's finger (because their an asshole).The three have access to so much dragon materials because they slayed the Red Terror of the West, and wasted no time putting each part of to good use. They have a whole damn wagon full of daggers to initiate acolytes with, and more dragon-sinew rope then a reasonable person knows that to do with. They have gathered a mob of fervent but not particularly competent acolytes on their campaign. The towns behind them are either burned to the ground or have had their rulers made to be acolytes. World-Anew's harbinger is the manticore Gorge who's loyalty was first won with dragon-flesh and then with memories. Their cult is called the Red Covenant, after the dragon it was founded on.

Weaknesses: While this campaign has momentum, it's unsustainable. The random gathering of miscreants that follow under Anew's banner will run out of steam eventually. Another issue is that Anew can't bring themselves to give any commands that would endanger the acolytes even if it's necessary. This leaves tactical operations to Thraw who is loyal to the cause but so callous as to be hated by the acolytes and Flitch who everyone likes, but tends to act selfishly. 

Powers: A Secret, Freed from Fungus, Pigeon Wrangler(crows), Furious Freedom, Finger-Taker, Eye-taker, Prophet, Call to Outcasts, Blood Monger, Blood Diviner, Lure of the Knife, Eyes of Esotery.

Hooks: Players might want to save Belodin from the invading threat. Or the manticore's promises sound good and they would like to join.


There is a lot of this thing that I can't really discuss because I haven't written most of the templates, but I did write the intro and 3 NPCs.

I wrote A Secret thinking that it would result in something like Cultist Simulator but instead of moths being mystically connected with scissors, the resulting lore would have it's own connections. That ended up panning out, but I don't think I faithposted something that actually explains how all these separate abilities thematically tie together.

I feel that I messed up a bit with Flint Knife Midwife because that made almost all the templates after it blood or knife themed. Blood, eyes and knives are really easy themes to converge around and I think if another Exquisite CΔrpse were to be done it might take effort not to do it again. Then again if a lot of the same participants are involved, people wouldn't want to repeat the same thing again. I also feel like I should have written something about angels in the my second template, but it was already on the larger side when I finishes writing it.

Flint Knife Midwife was written to have an almost symmetrical effect but with the Heresiarh being saddled with more responsibility because I think that's more interesting then making them being easily expendable shmucks. I choose to read that each time it says 'acolytes', they follow the same rules as in Flint Knife Midwife. I think Judas of the Flint Knife should interact with Lure of the Knife by adding the requirement that your new acolyte needs to murder the first to take their place, that feels right. I'm not sure how JoFK and Call to Outcasts should interact, the spirit of JoFK is that it makes acolytes nonrenewable and I want to keep that, even if that effectively means you lose CtO if you gain JoFK. The power of Blood does not like it when you try to cheat it.

It amuses me that Finger-take and Eye-taker are some of the more difficult to access abilites, due to the rarity of dragons and Wizards. I also think that Finger-taker would make a good theme ability if you changed the requirement and name. If there was a template I feel is missing from this set, it would be something called Finger-giver and I'm frankly scared to imagine what that would entail.

I do however like how thematically coherent each rank of powers turned out. It suggested a path from being some crazy hobbo to domain play. I wrote up the three NPCs to show how this pattern could play out in specific cases.

Rank 1 is entirely about mastering nature in what can be assumed is a city environment. 
Rank 2 continues that but also has the Heresiarh come to come up with a choice about their unreasonable anger. 
Rank 3 is all about giving and taking. 
Rank 4 asks you about if you see yourself as a 'caretaker' or truth-bringer, which fairly character defining. Rank 5 consists of the various ways you can develop your blood magic.
Rank 6 will likely be a freebie in most cases, but it means that after you develp your various blood magics, you can really start building an army.
Rank 7 lets you shoot eye-laser, what more could you want?

Overall I think this thing turned out very silly but in a good way. I hope to do this again sometime, but with someone else making the starting template, and maybe with the passing order being more varied, so that we don't get receive and give to the same people each round.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Arabus: Gnome Ann

 The wine-dark Arabus constantly churns out debris, dead fish and faiths. The Driftwood Papacy  scours along beaches and dredges with nets to rummage through these. Only the sturdy sea-bleached branches are kept, and only the suitably pungent carcasses are used for fish sauces, but each and every faith is kept. The Papacy is judgmental and rigid, but they are not book burners.

Each faith they find they rank, some are too Sputumous, others not enought, others are said to focus to much on Sweat at the expense of Tears, and so on. Sometimes faiths are found that seem to have both too much and not enought of the same humor, these paradoxes are usually resolved by finding a second humor that is being expressed in an unconventional way. Such as the recently uncovered Cult of Ieru, some early fragments uncovered by the Liturgist Elliot Cabal showed that they had an over abundance of Mucus, as the text goes into depth describing the inadequacies of spears. Another fragment indicates a lack of Mucus, in it Ieru's faithful are told to eat what is given to them without question. The current consensus however is that Ieruits did not lack Mucus, but ate anything out of a lack of Sweat. There is one deity however, for which the learned conscious is that they are both too Gastric and not Gastric enough

Doctrines and Scriptures:

Gnome Ann is an island.

There is an island among the Vineskulls, that is called Ann. No man lives there. Priestesses sworn to sleep with no man ferry pilgrims up the high cliffs to visit no man's shrine. Here people pray for things that can't happen, and too cope with the inevitable.

Gnome Ann is born wise.

No man was present to watch the Vineskulls rise from the sea. To have the first gnomes formed from sea foam and electric charge. No man was born 15 nautical miles south of Isle Ann, somewhere between the last century and maybe by the end of the next one. No man can be an island, a mortal women and a timeless god at the same time.

Time and tide wait for Gnome Ann.

There are things mortal souls can never hope to accomplish, they are frail, prone to sickness, doubtful and confused. Each person from their birth is bound to die. And yet, these same mortal souls can achieve great and terrible things, fragile boned birds have ascended to be the sun, great cities have been raised in which the gods can be forgotten, the Unliving walk despite it all. It's a puzzling paradox, no man knows what the their limits really are.

Practices of the Faith:

Or rather, game mechanics that are used to describe it. 

As an Idol in Marrow:

GNOME ANN Cast away something that can keep you safe to / gain a TREPIDATION. If you decide to not do something because your likely to fail /then for the rest of the day roll 3 dice and take the lowest when rolling with disadvantage.

TREPIDATION: Each one takes up a WIS slot, you can spend a TREPIDATION so that for a brief moment make one impossible thing possible.

As a Delta Template:

Leap of Faith:
At a high cliff Shrine to Gnome Ann, swear that you will fear no man and take a leap off it. In a pinch, any cliff would do as long as no one has leaped from it before. Lose this template if you become comfortable with your mortal limits.
When you cast aside something that can keep you safe, your hands tremble with TREPIDATION and you feel how far the horizon stretches. In this state you can do one thing no man can do, but only for a moment and then it passes.
If you ever turn away from a course of action because of it's difficulty, you will see all difficult tasks as impossible, until you do something no man can do or you get a good rest.

(Special Secret to not tell players: While the jump from the high cliff shrine looks intimidating, it's actually pretty safe. The priestesses will how ever play up the peril, by responding with cryptic silence when questions about the danger are asked, this is mostly hazing.)

Demographics of Worshipers:

In the Vineskulls most gnomes respect most deities. It's best not to piss anyone off you know? Gnome Ann is prayed to before embarking on an ambitious and dangerous venture, or to come to peace with one's failures. Individuals that dedicate themselves Gnome Ann are called Annites, their initialization ritual consists of the aforementioned Leap of Faith. Many Annites live on the island of Brobble, said to be the place Ann has or will be born, there they mostly keep their head low and quietly fish. Aside from being the port that leads to Isle Ann, Brobble is also known for how much women who love women live there. To the point that some gnomes refer to any lass loving lass as a Brobbian, even if she's never been there. You can find Annites abroad anywhere where you can find of batshit insane gnomes, they generally have big ambitions of some variety. A few succeed and become big shots somewhere or another, the ones that fail eventually end up coming back to Brobble, who welcome them as family.

There is one sect of Annites which is synchronized with Humorism to explain how Gnome Ann was able to become Gnome Ann and that anyone can do it too, which is utter hogwash. Their weird, they gastrically refer to themselves as Gnomsticism but they got like a handful of adherents? Nobody really likes them.

Monday, May 10, 2021

MOSAIC Strict: Test of Grit

 There are problems where the difficulty is not in coming up with a clever solution, or fighting against a foe that opposes you, but in perseverance. Sometimes you need to push against the world it doesn't feel satisfying for the GM to say either "Yes you do"/"No you can't"/"Hm, make a check against it."

Test of Grit

It makes sense to call for this procedure if your character is preforming a task that is at the edge of their ability, would be tedious to play out in full or is in some other way a test of endurance. It's recommended to only use this procedure if both success and failure are interesting and/or you want the resolution of the task to be drawn out and dramatic and how much the character is able to endure matters.

Examples of tasks this could work for:
  • Hold your breathe for long enought that the ghoul does not find you.
  • Break out of the enchantment that is forcing you to fight your friends.
  • Resist the urge to bite that sexy sexy neck before you if your a vampire who's seeing a human for the first time in years.
  • March across the desert.
  • Take several months to smith a masterwork sword.
  • Spend years carving a statue so well, that it comes to life.
The procedure of a Test of Grit is as such:
  1. It's decided that a Test of Grit is called for. Decide what is the task the character is trying to accomplish.
  2. Write two values, Grit and Pressure, both start at 0. If after one of the Challenges Pressure is greater then Grit, then the task is failed and the procedure is concluded.
  3. Determine your Grit in the Muster Grit section. Take a Risk if you want to.
  4. Face the Challenge of Starting by rolling the Adversity Die. Describe what happens.
  5. You can now Take a Risk if you want.
  6. Face the Challenge of Abiding by rolling the Adversity Die. Describe what happens.
  7. You can now Take a Risk if you want.
  8. Face the Challenge of Ending by rolling the Adversity Die. Describe what happens.
  9. If by this point Grit is still greater then Pressure, the task has succeeded and the procedure is concluded.

Muster Grit:

Grit represents the assets that a character has too complete a task. It's some combination of willpower, experience and luck that allows a person to push forward against the odds. For long term tasks, consider factors abstractly across the entire period.
If your spending a month combing through the Library of Tears for the soul of your father, skipping a single meal won't lose you your well fed bonus. Surviving only the salty tears of the Librarians for that month will however have a negative effect.

  • +3 if you have your soul. While you still have a soul anything is possible, no matter how improbable. 
  • +1 if your healthy and uninjured.
  • +1 if you are well rested.
  • +1 if your well fed.
  • +1 if you have a strong motivation to succeed this task.
  • +1 if your doing a task fueled by True Love or Pure Spite.
  • +1 if you have failed a task like this before.
  • +1 if you have succeeded a task like this before.
  • +1 if you have a background in preforming tasks like this.
  • +1 for any situational advantages the table agrees is relevant.
  • -1 for any situational disadvantages the table agrees is relevant. If you have a soul, this cannot bring your Grit below 3.
  • +1-6 for the Risks you take.

Face the Challenges:

Adversity Die is a d6 represent the myriad misfortunes, frailties and mistakes that stand before you and your goal. They represent outside influences, but also the parts of your body and mind you don't have full control of. Pressure represents how errors accumulate over time, and how they might overwhelm you.

There are three Challenges you must face to accomplish your task. For each challenge must roll the Adversity Die and add this value to your Pressure. If your Pressure exceeds your Grit then you have failed the task and the procedure is over. Describe how you overcome or succumb to the Challenge. In between each Challenge you can Take a Risk to improve your Grit. 

The first Challenge is the Challenge of Starting. Succeeding here means your able to start off. Failing this task means you were not able to begin the task, or fail almost immediately.
Examples include not managing to find good grip on the boulder your trying to lift, or not working up the nerve to start your novel.

The second Challenge is the Challenge of Enduring. Succeed here and regardless of the setbacks along the way, your able to keep the momentum. Failing means you do not.
Examples include giving in to the heat of the desert sun or letting your gang lose track of their goal and collapse into infighting.

The last Challenge is the Challenge of Ending. Success mean your able to conclude the task correctly. Failure means messing up at the last moment.
Examples include failing to stick the landing or ruining your ink illustration by overshading it.

Take a Risk:

Sometimes to accomplish things you need to take Risks. If you want to take a Risk to improve your Grit, you need to come to an agreement to come to an agreement with your GM what sorts of Risks you can impose on yourself when to improve your odds.

For example, let's say your trying to lift open a heavy iron gate for long enought that the rest of the party is able to pass under it. Some possible Risks in this situation is that you break your back from the strain or you crush your foot when you drop the gate down again. Or let's say your taking several months campaigning for the election of President FROG. Risks you could risk in this situation include alienating your wife or burning out from neglecting your obligations or health respectfully.

Once you've agreed on what the Risk is, you assign it to any amount of the sides of a d6. If an Adversity Dice lands on one of these sides, then the Risk comes to pass, in return you get a bonus to your Grit equal to the amount of sides that have Risks assigned to them.

In the gate lifting example, if you assign one to the Risk of breaking your back, then you break your back if you roll a 1 but in return you get +1 to your Grit, this is entirely independent of if you succeed the task or not.  If you assign this Risk to 4, then you break your back on a4, and you still get +1 to your Grit. You can assign this Risk to 2 and 6, which would mean that you will break your back on a 2 or a 6, but in return you get +2 Grit. You can even decide to assign the Risk to all sides, guaranteeing that regardless of success or failure your back will break, that +6 better be worth it.

You can assign as many Risks as you want, but you can't assign more then 1 Risk to any dice face.

In the gate example, if you decide to assign the Risk of a broken back on a 6, you can also assign the Risk of crushing your foot to a 5 or 3 or even the rest of the sides, but you can't assign it to a 6.

Design Discussion:

The main reason why I was motivated to write this system is because I anticipate that I will need them for the games I want to run. The games I want to run being FKRish games the rules being used are MOSAIC procedures and Δelta templates. A lot of the Δeltas ask you to complete tasks where the difficulty is in endurance. Which is a hard thing to model in an tabletop rpg, especially one where you don't have attributes and stats to to model the fatigue of the character. There is a disconnect between the fatigue of a player and their character, on the player's end "I walk to the door" and "I walk across the desert" take up the same amount of effort. Now a lot of this can be resolved by simply thinking out the logical consequences of each action "If you try to walk across the desert right now, you'll die of dehydration, are you sure you want to do that?" for example, but in other cases it's not clear as clear cut. Let's say your a sensible person who sensibly wants to achieve the sensible goal of becoming an Eye Watcher, how many times does the GM need to make you roll to see if you can force your body to stay awake? If you are learning Discipline, it's easy for the player to say that they meditate and practice calisthenics for a month, which is an issue because in real life and in fiction doing so requires concentrated effort. So I wrote a way for players to Test their Grit.

The process of mustering Grit was something I directly stole from matthias's Quick Combat, because it's a nice way of converting diegetic elements into numbers you need right now. The Grit mustering criteria I chose broad fall into one of five categories. 
  • First is having good health in general, this matters because diegetically it makes sense that a healthy person would be better able to endure the challenges of life and it encourages players to treat their characters well.
  • Second is experience. In practice characters get a +3 bonus for tasks related to their background, because in the process of learning people both succeed and fail. It also encourages players to keep track of the triumphs and tribulations their character has gone through, which I think is cool because it tells us about who the character is as a person. 
  • Third is Risk. It has been observed by many people that problems make things more interesting. Suffering the consequences your actions moves the game forward and lucking out of the consequences of your actions is fun.
  • Fourth is determination. This ruleset wouldn't model a Test of Grit if willpower didn't factor into it at all. It's one of the things that has the player/character disconnect problem. Asking players to explain what motivates their characters, helps develop them.
  • Five is a soul. I could have written the rules so that Grit starts at a base of 3, so that there is always a slim possibility of success, which makes sense because there is no point in invoking these rules if something is literally impossible. However, if the "base 3" Grit you get represents you possessing a soul then you have captured a bit of the je ne sais quoi of both having and not having a soul. In this ruleset having a soul means that if you are at your lowest point, broken, beaten and unable to find meaning, a miracle can still happen. Losing your soul means if you have nothing, then it's time to give up because your as good as dead. It helps explain why souls are both something precious and something that a rational actor might choose to give up. Of course, having a soul means other things that don't interact with this system, but I like the narrative space it adds.

There are 3 Challenges where each die is rolled separately rather then rolling 3 dice at once to add drama and tension. The opportunity to Take a Risk between rolls is place to give players more control in the drawn out process and also to add drama and tension in the form of asking the player what their willing to risk to succeed.  The 3 Challenges of Starting, Abiding and Ending are the way they are because they are scalable, an event that lasts a second and one that takes 30 years both have a beginning, middle and conclusion, so the same math can be applied to both. Also on what stage you fail can change the fiction, not being able summon the courage to walk on coals is different from jumping off while half way through. I don't think this is always relevant, but it can sometimes be. 

I think there are still some rough edges in this module, and I'd need to see this system in actual play to sort them out. Also half way through this I was amused to find out that I structured this text like a function in a program, with an list of instructions that reference sub-functions. I guess college is doing something for me.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Δelta: Recursion

 So I had a weird idea a while back that I wanted to make into a GLOG class, but I couldn't think of 4 abilities that would make sense one after the other. Now that I'm accustomed to Deltas...

Δelta: Recursion

The format is bold Name, followed by a requirement in italics and a description of the power. This text is MOSAIC Strict.

Eye Watcher

After not sleeping for a couple days look into the eyes of a loved one and see your own eyes reflected in them. If those eyes lie, smash the mirrors! If they are true, rejoice!

When you watch someone's eyes, you see what they see. When you make eye contact with someone, it takes tremendous force of will for either of you to pull your gaze away from the other.

Teeth Chewer

Put a tooth that has been used to eat food into your mouth and grind it down into nothing. If you fall asleep at any moment in this process, start over.

Your teeth never stop growing because your a rodent, but your only able to grind them on teeth. For every minute that you chew a tooth you know what that tooth has chewed for the day before it.

Tongue Licker

For a few days do not let your tongue touch anything that's not a tongue, and make sure to deliberately lick a few. If you fall asleep at any moment in this process, start over.

You can no longer taste, unless you taste a tongue, in which case you taste what magic and devious words that tongue spoke. If you ever swallow tongue, you will choke on it.

Hand Holder

After not sleeping for a couple days, hold a loved one's hand so gently that they do not notice. Grip the other hand so hard that they cannot notice anything else. If afterward they remember you holding both their hands, start over.

It takes a tremendous act of will for you to let go of a hand your holding. You also know what a hand your holding wants to do.

Nose Sniffer

After not sleeping for a couple days take a good wiff of a few noses and think. If you figure out what the inside of your own nose smells like you get it.

You can perfectly identify smells that originate from noses, other scents will not interest you.

Ear Listener

Compose a song that is played with only the ears. Not hands thought, all the things making sound have to be ear, they don't have to be your own thought. If you fall asleep at any moment in this process, start over.

You can hear the sound of the ear drums around you as clear as a bell. Crowds are maddening.

Toe Treader

For a few days only walk on toes, as in you must step on the toes of others. If you fall asleep at any moment in this process, start over.

You can perfectly balance and are immovable by any outside force, when you stand on your tippy toes on top of someone else's toes. The reverse is also true for anyone else who steps on your toes.

Nail Poker

Find all the things a nail can do to another nail. Spend a couple sleepless nights to be sure.

You nails will not stop growing and they will grow fast, like wow.

Design Discussion:

I don't have much to say this time, it's rather self explanatory.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

I'm Back! MOSAIC Strict and Δelta: Transfiguration

 It's been a while and I kind of stopped blogging out of shame over half-assing the Ink-tober post with the cat and general malaise. But now I'm back and I found a brand new RPG thingy that I'm going to make content for!

Here's a link to the full explanation of MOSAIC Strict. It's basically a standard for writing modular rpg rules that are compatible with everything. There are several reasons I'm switching my very serious niche rpg allegiance to this (aside from the novelty of a new cool sounding label) is that I don't feel my attempts to write my own personal system have borne much fruit because I'm rarely able to muster the energy to run a game, so it's not likely that content ends up being used by anyone. Entirely stand-alone modules that slot equally well into free-form, D&D-adjacents or story-games are more likely to eventually grab someone's interest and plugged into their own game as they please. So far my favorite posts to make have been magical subsystems and the format of  MOSAIC Strict allows those systems to stand on their own as complete texts and provides some nice creative restrictions to get a concept across in crisp and clean fashion. MOSAIC Strict by virtue of placing limits on rules but not the fiction, encourages keeping most of the information diegetic, which I like.

On the topic of fiction first approaches, there is an interesting convergent evolution, where independently the GLOGosphere has been playing with the idea of Δ Templates, a method of character progression where if a character fulfills an diegetic trigger they receive some benefit, usually also diegetic, like some of the peripheral moves in Apocopes World. This idea was then expanded on with some templates requiring others to be acquired, allowing for an entirely in character class progression system, like if feat chains in D&D 3e were cool and narratively impactful. The "Delta Tree" that started off this trend was Pyromancy, and the only thing that makes it not MOSAIC Strict is that it's not attested as such. This applies to most of the other Delta Trees that have been inspired by it, except maybe for the fact that that they leave the template format unstated. Delta Trees walk like a MOSAIC module and quack like a MOSAIC module, so I think that both would be enriched if they were associated together. For that reason I'm going to do both right now! Also I guess I'm not actually ending my friendship with GLOG and Into The Odd, but I had to say it, for the meme.

Also while I was writing this post, MOSAIC Strict has already become a known thing among the gretchlings, so I guess this is directed more to people not in the GLOGosphere?

Δelta: Transfiguration

Have you ever wished that you were different? Have you ever envied the form of someone's nose or the silhouette of a bird high in the clouds? Has circumstance put you in a body that doesn't fit you? And ironically there are people out there in the world who have what you need but are just as dissatisfied, because they need what you have. Luckily there are those who can help.

The Fleshmongers, the Chimera-Nurses and the Beastwrights, beings who are able to swap body parts like articles of clothes, rearrange organs as they see fit and sculpt bodies like clay. They are as varied as their powers. In some places they are monsters hunted down for crimes against nature, in others they are tolerated for the services they provide, and in other places celebrated as miracle workers and practice their Art with pride. Should you seek them out, their appearance will be just as varied, some look entirely human, others look like a hodge-podge of unrelated elements or beautiful beyond compare.

The secret of the Transfigurist's power lies in the Chimera Gland, an organ that has two significant properties. It grants the power to transfigure at the cost of preventing growth. Those with the gland are unable to grow up, though they can grow old, they cannot bear children, their wounds hardly heal and physical training amounts to nothing but lost time and a sore body. Fortunately a transfigurist's body is still able to maintain homeostasis. Practitioners have to actively monitor the operation of their bodies, but in return are able to have much greater mastery over their form. The generally accepted way to receive a Gland is from a master who proceeds to teach you the Art.

Creatures that have been changed by transfiguration but do not possess the Gland, grow and wilt like any other. Notably transfigurations do not get passed down.

Each Transfiguration Method follows the format of a Name in bold and ranked, a requirement in italics which describes how one could gain the Method and description in normal text, which describes what it does. To get a Method you need to have at least 1 Method of a lower rank.

Methods of Transfiguration:

(0) Sculpt Flesh:
Have a Chimera Gland. Losing it to an exchange or injury means you can't perform transfigurations, but you still remember how.
If your body is relaxed, you are able to morph, merge and woundlessly split body parts using a dexterous appendage. This allows you to pinch the outer ear to make it pointy, detach it by tracing around it with a nail and reattach it by placing it against skin and smoothing it over with a thumb, but moving the inner ear requires you to carefully "dig out" the parts and place them transfer them into a new opening you've split somewhere else. Organs outside a body can survive for several hours before becoming dead and useless. An poorly done transfiguration can be debilitating or lead to death.

(1) Body Control:
For 3 days and 3 nights you cannot use any of your limbs, mouths or other appendages for their intended uses, and must instead use some other body part in their place. If you ever use something the way it's supposed to work such as hands for grasping or mouths for chewing and swallowing, start over.
As long as you keep focus you can control a specific body part to do what it should not. This allows you to halter and accelerate biological processes at risk of breaking something, organisms are complicated and intricate systems. It also allows you to make soft tissues bend in ways they are not supposed to and even act as dexterous appendages for sculpting flesh.

(1) Exchange Parts:
Swap the location of two of your surface elements exactly. Swap two bones and still be able to bend them correctly. Swap the location of two internal organs without complications. If you fail, try again.
When holding two body parts of roughly equal size, you are able to swap their location. They can be on two different organisms as long as both of them are relaxed and willing.

(2) Practiced Touch:
Perform a hundred unique transfigurations.
You have practiced in the Art long enough that you can either transfigure safely and reliably or know exactly what the risks and trade-offs are. You've also developed your own distinct style, making your handiwork recognizable to those who know what to look for.

(3) Universal Connection:
Transfigure yourself to be physically inseparable from an organism you consider a person. Live like this for a month. If you are separated, start again.
Methods that could only target yourself, can now target any relaxed and willing organism you are touching. This does allow you to merge multiple organisms into one.

(3) Shape Shift:
Replace all the tissue you were born with, so there is no trace of what you were.
You realize that you never needed an appendage to perform transfigurations, you can freely modify yourself just by willing it. To modify others you still need to be touching them, but where you touch them and what is modified is irrelevant.

(3) Cruel Intent:
First, you must hate yourself, and you must hate others. Spend a year and a day living among people, but without showing any kindness nor being accommodating for anyone's needs but your own. If you are compelled to act for another's benefit, punish them with disproportionate pettiness or start over.
Your Methods work on organisms that are not relaxed or willing, but it will be painful.

The given rules are MOSAIC Strict.

Magical Organ Bartering:

No matter if they are at the heart or the periphery of society, Transfigurists are often able to provide a service for others, so there are always people who seek them out. I don't know what your setting is like and what sort of people are there, but here is a table to help spark ideas of how characters could be motivated to interact with weird creatures. It's by no means a complete list of possibilities.

Wants and Needs:

  1. Someone has a disability that they have suffered for all their life and want  it fixed.
  2. Someone has a disability they have recently acquired thought misfortune and want it fixed.
  3. Someone needs a false identity to escape, for political or personal reason.
  4. Someone has been living with the incorrect body and want it fixed.
  5. Someone in following the latest fashions, wants a body to match.
  6. Someone wants to change their body to become better at something.
  7. Someone is ordered to change their body to better suit a task.
  8. Roll twice and combine.

Design Discussion:

I remade the Chimeric Exchange spell I made way back and the focus is still very much around creating space for weird hybrid creatures, with added support for unusually proportioned beings. This Δelta is as much for creating NPCs as PCs, and is arguably more suited for creating powerful allies or terrifying enemies.

I decided that Chimeric Gland is an organ that gets passed around with Transfiguration to keep the subsystem MOAIC Strict. I then decided that it has the disadvantage of prohibiting growth because I think it's an interesting restriction because it encourages Transfigurists to think of bodies differently compared to normal people and gives them weird challenges that only they have to worry about.

Transfigurists need a lot of friendly living things around to be at their most effective. A transfigurist can significantly impact a community that lets them, in a role that's something like a doctor. They can also be weird dudes in the woods who spend their time making owlbears and skunkducks. I find the first dynamic more interesting and Cruel Intent is meant to reflect that. If there is someone exists who has Cruel Intent then something has gone wrong, because unless your directly oppressing people you have to at least pretend to play nice.

This Δelta doesn't add many abilities, but these abilties do allow you to basically build your own artisanal monster so I think it's fine.

Addition: This is dreadfully important. Shape Shift allows you to do the thing the wizard in this cartoon is constantly doing, and what else would you want magic for? 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

GLOG/Witch-tober Day13: Large Black Cat

 Based off the prompts of black cat and tribe I was thinking of a tribe that has witches who ride big black cats but I can't think of anything for the tribe I've only got an idea for the cats.

The idea is that these witches use magic to make the cats huge but because magic is fake as shit, the way physics are applied to it is scaled incorrectly, because it's not "truly" huge. From the cat's perspective it's the world that's in miniature. For example the squared cubed law is ignored, they can jump just as high as they are used too jumping, if the cat could originally jump 1 foot, and it was scaled up x10, then it now jumps 10 feet rather then what an animal of that size and weight should be able to jump. They still weight as much as a house cat when in regard to the question of can something can hold their weight, even if they have a person riding on top of them. And they would still react to dogs and loud noises as if they were their natural size. Part of their traits would be "as tiger" and part would be "as house cat", but I'm not sure how to divide it. The simplest would be "whichever one is more advantagous" but I want there to flaws in this magic. Like for example should they have hp "as tiger" or "as house cat"? I'm sure that I want them to "eat as house cat, but move magnitudes faster with all the trace of a housecat" to justify witches riding them and lead too cool scenes like them sitting on something that big should not be able to sit on. I'm imagining these cats being animated in a Ghibli film, so that's the sort of magical aesthetic I'm going for here. I don't know I'm rambling, the day has been long.

You know, would my kind readers post their takes in the comments, let's have a bit of a discussion going.